Mark Gillenson, Ph.D.


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Mark Gillenson


Dr. Mark L. Gillenson is University Research Professor in the Department of Management Information Systems in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics of the University of Memphis. He is also the Director of the Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) of the university’s FedEx Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1969, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering in 1970 and 1974, respectively. As a graduate student, Dr. Gillenson invented the world’s first computerized facial compositor and co-developed an early computer graphics system that, among other things, was used to produce some of the special effects in the first Star Wars movie.

Dr. Gillenson began working undergraduate summers for the IBM Corp. in 1965 at the age of 16. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, he worked for the IBM Corp. for 15 years in a variety of positions, including seven years as a faculty member of the prestigious IBM Systems Research Institute where he wrote his first two books on strategic planning and data management, and conducted the world’s first large-scale survey of data and database administration. After several years as a faculty member at the University of Miami, he came to the University of Memphis as the Chair of the Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department in 1995.

Dr. Gillenson is a Senior and Life Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In 2019 and 2020 he was awarded the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Undersecretary’s Award for Science and Engineering. His current areas of interest are systems testing and advances in database management.  He is a Senior Editor of ACM’s The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Database Management.  Dr. Gillenson’s research has appeared in MIS Quarterly, Communications of the ACM, Information & Management, Methods of Information in Medicine, and other leading journals.  His latest book is Fundamentals of Database Management Systems, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2023.


Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University
Master of Science, Ohio State University
Bachelor of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Teaching Interests

Software Testing; Database Management Systems; Strategic Use of Data; Data Administration; Electronic Commerce


Dr. Mark Gillenson discusses recent research on the comparative cost and value of software test cases:

Research Interests

Software Testing; Database Design; Strategic Use of Data; Data Administration; Electronic Commerce.

Recent Publications

Shi, Yao, Gillenson, Mark. L & Zhang, Xihui., &. (2022). A Quantitative Function for Estimating the Comparative Values of Software Test Cases. Journal of Database Management, 33(1), 1-33.

Gillenson, Mark L., Totty, Stephanie, Zhang, Qiunan, Zhang, Xihui, and Shi, Yao. (2021), Global Index for Test and Evaluation Data (GIFTED): An Implementation Approach. Journal of Information Technology Management, XXXI (2).

Gillenson, M. L., Stafford, T. F., Zhang, X., & Shi, Y. (2020). Use of qualitative research to generate a function for finding the unit cost of software test cases. Journal of Database Management, 31(2), 42-63.

Tang, Zhenya., Chen, Leida., & Gillenson, Mark L. (2019). Understanding Brand Fan Page Followers’ Discontinuance Motivations: A Mixed-Method Study. Information & Management, 56(1), 94-108.

Gillenson, Mark L., Zhang, Xihui, Muthitacharoen, Achita, and Prasarnphanich, Pattarawan. (2019). I’ve Got You Under My Skin: The Past, Present, and Future Use of RFID Technology in People and Animals. Journal of Information Technology Management, XXX (2), 19-29.

Tang, Zhenya (Robin), Leida Chen, Zhongyun (Phil) Zhou, Merrill Warkentin, and Mark L. Gillenson. (2019) “The effects of social media use on control of corruption and moderating role of cultural tightness-looseness,” Government Information Quarterly, 36, 2019.


For a more comprehensive list of Dr. Gillenson's publications, click here.